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Crack SAT Math in 2024: Essential Syllabus Insights for Indian Test-Takers

sat-math-syllabus

Beginning the journey toward your dream college acceptance is an exhilarating experience filled with anticipation and the promise of a bright future. For many students, this journey begins with three letters: SAT.

The SAT exam, or the Scholastic Assessment Test, is a standardised test used by most US and Canadian universities as a part of the admission process. It is a multiple-choice test created and administered by the College Board - one of the largest education companies in the world. The SAT exam fee for Indian students is $60, plus a $43 regional fee.

The SAT Exam syllabus comprises four sections in General - Reading, Writing, Math, and Essay (optional). The questions include Multiple-choice and Grid-Based Questions.

In this blog, we are diving deep into the Math section of the SAT exam as it is the highest scoring section, while most students lag here only.

If you are gearing up for the SAT Math test, you are at the right place. Right from the SAT Exam Syllabus and exam pattern to tips and tricks, we have got you all covered, and it is not as scary as it might seem.

What Level of Math is on the SAT Exam?

The SAT Math section measures the ability of students to use mathematical concepts for effective problem-solving in real-world situations.

Most questions in the SAT Math section include questions from 8th to 12th Grade from topics like numbers and operations, geometry, statistics, and trigonometry. Apart from these topics, some questions are asked from topics including polynomials, factoring, linear and nonlinear equations, and more in the Advanced Math Section.

One of the best ways to clear the SAT exam is to have a strong command of foundational principles. The SAT exam is not difficult, it is difficult because it tests solid foundations, and most students are stuck there. Therefore, you should have a solid understanding of the concepts, and a systematic approach is necessary to get you a decent score. 

SAT Math Syllabus and Pattern

The SAT Maths exam consists of two sections-a no-calculator and a calculator part. Both these sections contain multiple-choice and grid-ins (writing the answer) questions. The SAT exam syllabus primarily covers questions from high school maths on topics such as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, graphs, functions, and equations.

The topics covered in the syllabus include: 

Topic

Sub-topic

Algebra

Systems of Nonlinear Equations, Linear Programming, Arithmetic and Geometric Sequences, Inequalities, Linear and Nonlinear Functions, Absolute Value, Word Problems

Problem Solving & Data Analysis

Interpretation of tables, charts, graphs, and scatter plots, Statistical Measures, Understanding quartiles and percentiles, Probability, Ratio, and Proportion, Calculating percentages, Scatter Plots, and Trend Lines, Direct and Inverse Variation, Representations of Data

Advanced Maths

Algebraic Expressions, Equations and Inequalities, Systems of Equations, Polynomials, Rational Expressions, Exponents and Radicals, Sequences and Series, Complex Numbers

Geometry and Trigonometry 

Trigonometric Equations, Law of Sines and Law of Cosines, Trigonometric Identities, Polygons, Coordinate Geometry, Lines and Angles

No-Calculator Section

The first part is the calculator section, which consists of multiple-choice and problem-solving questions. It includes 40 questions, for which you will get 25 minutes.

Time Allotted

25 minutes

Total Questions 

20

Multiple-Choice Questions 

15

Grid-in Questions 

5

Calculator Section

As the name implies, here you can use a calculator. This section includes 58 questions, for which you will get 55 minutes. It covers questions from arithmetic, statistics, geometry, data interpretation, probability, and more.

Time Allotted

55 minutes

Total Questions 

38

Multiple-Choice Questions 

30

Grid-in Questions 

8

SAT Math Topics and Questions

As mentioned above, the SAT exam pattern of the mathematics section consists of two parts. Among these, 20 questions are in the calculator section, and 38 are in the non-calculator section.

So, there are 58 questions to be answered in 80 minutes.

Listed below are the topics and the type of questions asked from these areas:

Algebra: The Algebraic questions in the SAT exam include problems related to linear equations and functions, linear inequalities and quadratic equations, their graphical representation, and so on. It is the first section in the SAT maths syllabus, and one can expect around 19 questions from this section.

Type of questions in the Algebra Section

  • Solve linear equations for a specified variable.
  • Solve a system of linear equations and interpret solutions for the same.
  • Evaluate algebraic expressions by combining like terms, distributing, and applying the order of operations.
  • Create linear graphical representation for linear and quadratic inequalities.
  • Solve quadratic equations by factoring, completing the square, or using the quadratic formula.

Problem Solving and Data Analysis: The problem-solving and data analysis section consists of questions related to ratios, percentages, probability, charts and graphs, and proportional reasoning to solve word problems. This section tests your command of quantitative literacy and around 16-17 questions asked from this topic in the exam.

Types of Questions in Problem Solving and Data Analysis Section:

  • Analyse and interpret information in tables, graphs, and other tabular representations.
  • Describe relationships and draw conclusions based on the information provided in a data set, considering trends, patterns, and relationships.
  • Solve word problems using percentage, ratio concepts, and other mathematical and analytical skills.
  • Compare and contrast different data sets, scenarios, or experimental conditions and draw conclusions based on the provided information.
  • Calculate and interpret measures such as mean, median, mode, and standard deviation based on given data sets.

Advanced Math: As implied by the name, this section focuses on advanced questions of mathematics that prepare students for further higher studies and career opportunities in STEM fields. To ace the advanced maths section, you need to be proficient with complex equations, functions, polynomials, and factoring topics.

Types of Questions in the Advanced Math Section:

  • Solve and interpret linear and quadratic equations and inequalities.
  • Solve and analyse the Non-linear relationship between two variables
  • Factoring, dividing, and manipulating polynomials.
  • Simplify expressions with exponents and radicals.
  • Solve and interpret algebraic expressions.

Additional Topics in Math: Apart from the above topics, the SAT maths syllabus includes Additional Topics such as geometry, trigonometry, radian measure, and complex numbers. These are divided into the calculator and non-calculator sections.

Types of Questions in Additional Topics in Math Section:

  • Interpret and evaluate functions, domains, and ranges.
  • Simplification of exponents and radicals.
  • Geometric problems related to angles, triangles, circles, polygons, and three-dimensional figures.
  • Basic operations with vectors.
  • Problems related to conic sections.

Tips to Prepare SAT Math Questions

Undoubtedly, sitting for a competitive exam can be nerve-wracking. However, with thorough SAT preparation and following the necessary tips and tricks, you can ensure a smoother exam experience.

  1. Practise fundamental maths concepts and master the basics.
  2. Solve mock tests to make yourself familiar with SAT question formats.
  3. Ensure that you memorise all the formulas and equations.
  4. Learn how to manage your time effectively using different time management strategies.
  5. Practice from official SAT papers, and if required, clarify your doubts using online resources, forums, and tutorials.
  6. Focus on topics that carry maximum weightage.
  7. Stay Calm and composed during the test to think clearly and avoid silly mistakes.
  8. Understand the use of calculators in solving complex problems.
  9. If you face any problems, don't hesitate to seek guidance from teachers, tutors, or online communities.
  10. Ensure you do targeted revision a day before the exam by reviewing key concepts, formulas, and problem-solving strategies and following the SAT exam pattern.

Suggested Reads: SAT Exam Preparation

Conclusion

Overall, the importance of the SAT Math exam for study abroad aspirants is undeniable. This exam is a pathway to fulfil your study abroad journey.

So, if you're considering pursuing your degree from an international university or aiming to push your career to new heights, investing time and effort in preparing for the SAT maths exam is a good move, as this is the highest-scoring section of the exam.

If you need any further assistance in SAT preparation, do get in touch with our counsellors at AECC and turn your dream of studying abroad into reality!

FAQs

What are SAT maths level 1 & 2 topics?

The SAT maths level 1 topics include Algebraic expressions, coordinate geometry, data analysis, and number sequences. The SAT Math Level 2 topics include logarithmic functions, trigonometry, and advanced geometric problems.

What are SAT maths rules?

Officially, there are no set SAT maths rules. However, you must carefully read all the instructions and guidelines.

What level of maths is required for the SAT exam?

Most of the questions in the SAT exam cover topics from 8 to 12th grade, while few advanced topics extend to early post-secondary mathematics.

Does SAT have trigonometry?

Yes, the SAT maths syllabus includes questions from trigonometry.

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